WWYDW: The Right Side


Howdy, soldiers. Since J.D. Burke is a liberal elitist and I am a man of the people, I’ll be taking over WWYDW from this point onward. 

Last night’s 7-2 thrashing at the hands of the Rangers notwithstanding, it’s actually been a relatively decent week for the Canucks. They picked up a pair of wins against New York and Dallas, and actually managed to score five whole goals in each of those wins. The biggest (positive) story over that time was the inspired play of rookie Troy Stecher, who even scored his first goal of the season on Sunday against the Stars. 

With Chris Tanev expected to return shortly, this leaves the Canucks with a logjam on the right side, with Stecher, Tryamkin, and Larsen all vying for a spot on the third pairing. So this week’s question is simple: Which right-handed defenseman comes out of the lineup when Chris Tanev returns?

Last week J.D. asked: If Desjardins is relieved of his duties, who should run the Canucks bench and in what capacity? 


If you did make a change — and I’m not sure it would make any difference with this roster — then it should be an interim person like Jarvis rather than Green. But to be honest I think Desjardins IS the interim before the roster gets appreciably better (with the development of young players). I think he stays the season if the Canucks end the first 20 games somewhere near five hundred (which again isn’t out of the question — we’re 5-8-1, not 0-13-1)


I think it doesn’t matter which coach you choose as long as the management team dreams of being competitive in the playoffs.

Once management comes around to the idea that this year has to be a development year, and making the playoffs is a bonus, you can effectively choose the next coach.

When management comes around, I think you look at Jarvis as an interm coach. Throwing Green to the wolves is really bad for the Canucks, Green’s career, and Utica.

Having said that, I’d still like to give Willie the freedom to develop players as a first priority, and see how he does. I don’t believe he is as bad as it currently appears, and the defense only marching orders he has been given really seen to clash with his abilities.

If Willie has issues developing players, then hopefully some better options are available when it is time to replace him.


I have not seen enough development from Utica players to the NHL that would give Travis Green such a ringing endorsement. I think Ralph Krueger got a total raw deal in Edmonton – he actually was starting to get something out of Yakapov until he got Kevin Lowe’d. I also think he did “a real good job” with Team Europe. Bring him back before Calgary realized Gulutzan was a mistake. 


Expectations matter. If a new coach is brought in with the same roster and same goals as WD had, undoubtedly there will be far too many challenges to overcome. Travis Green is the obvious replacement, but any new coach needs new and lower expectations for at least this season. Green or another new coach needs to be relieved of the pressure of making the playoffs and being a contender for the foreseeable future.


I’ve given up on Willie, although the team’s struggles should not be pinned on him, and I don’t expect any coach to get them in the playoffs.

I just want to see better decision making with the roster overall, with the makeup of the lines, with the style of play, and even with the choice of who to use in a shootout when we do get there.

I stuck up for him after the Calgary playoffs, and through the entire season last year. Now I feel that it’s time to try a fresh approach, a different viewpoint on our players, and a different voice.

I think it should be an experienced coach, not Travis Green, and I don’t know who that is, but I don’t think he’s the answer. Losing is fine, but last night aside, it’s been excruciating to watch. I’ve seen a lot of losing Canucks teams over the years, and seen better coaches fired for lesser sins. It’s time.

  • natevk

    I’d like to see the Canucks do something to mix up the Hutton-Gudbranson pairing. I don’t think sitting Gudbranson is the ideal thing to do, but that pairing hasn’t worked and needs some change.

    If Hutty-Guddy stay together, I’d like to see a Tryamkin-Stecher pairing just to see what the kids can do. Tryamkin can play the left or right side so keeping him in the lineup over Sbisa is a real option. If all else fails, keep Stecher with Edler, have Tanev babysit Sbisa, and hope and pray that Gudbranson suddenly becomes better.

    TL;DR — keep Stecher in the lineup, keep Tryamkin in too by switching him to LD if need be.

  • DJ_44

    Move Tryamkin to the left side, sit Hutton (or send him to Utica).

    Edler – Stecher
    Tryamkin – Gudbranson
    Sbisa – Tanev

    I would also like to see Larson get in (he has more to offer) but not at the expense of Tryamkin who has been very impressive.

  • Spiel

    First, send down Biega. He won’t be claimed.

    Assuming the unlikely scenario that everyone stays healthy, the coaches need to get creative.

    Tanev, Edler, and Gudbranson will be in the lineup every game when healthy. I still think Hutton belongs in the top 6 every game, so I’d leave him in pretty much every game. Perhaps a game off to let him watch would be helpful, but I’m not sold on that.

    The last two spots would be a combination of Tryamkin, Stecher, Larsen, Sbisa depending on matchups and who has been playing the best until someone separates from the crowd. You could argue that Stecher is starting to do that, but there are lapses in his game – the turnover behind the net that lead to an easy Rangers goal for example.

    Reality is another injury will occur and the log jam will be lifted.

  • Nuckleston

    My preference would be to trade Tanev for something Taylor Hall-esque to kick start the rebuild; however, I’m assuming that won’t happen so…

    From what I’ve seen Stetcher is playing really well, and the team is better with him. My first instinct is to keep him here; however, if this year turns into a poop show, wouldn’t it make more sense to get him big minutes in the minors away from all this? It’s not like the team will set the world on fire with or without him; well, at least not in a good way.

    At that point, I’d play Tryamkin because I want to keep him really really happy for next years contract.

  • Dirty30

    Edler — Stecher

    Gudbranson — Tanev

    Tryamkin — Hutton

    Sbisa — Larsen/Biega

    The first pair work well together so leave them alone.

    Tanev seems to be the D-Whisperer and calms Edler down, so let him work some magic on Gudbranson.

    Tryamkin is fairly steady and allows Hutton some stability but also the ability to jump into the play better than with Gudbranson.

    Bottom three can sit and/or send Biega down.

    • natevk

      The problem I see with this is you have Hutton and Gudbranson both switching to their off sides. Hutton could play Left with Tryamkin playing Right, but I don’t think that Gudbranson working on his left side would help his game, even if being supported by Tanev.

  • Rodeobill

    I dont consider Larsen a bad defenseman, and certainly an upgrade over Weber last year, But I agree we dont have a spot for him anymore, trade time.

    And what about Subban and especially Pedan in Utica? they have paid their dues and deserve some time in the bigs to see what they can do, but it doesn’t look like even injuries will get them to the press box.

    Benning has done very well to build from the net out so far, but now we have a major imbalance. Its time to understand what you have in each player, keep the ones you want, and trade the rest for help in other areas needed.

    I dont want to trade Tanev unless something REALLY tasty comes along, but I think he is still undervalued outside the organization. He is young and our best defenseman, and still with a lot of experience.

  • ManicSt

    Trade Gudbranson – if there’s any takers. How about trying to package him up in a deal for Bobby Ryan? Sure, Ryan has a big contract and isn’t scoring, but that should make him fit right in with this bunch. Plus, who knows, playing with the Sedins might get him rolling again.